Kavitha Rai

Rookie - 3 Points (15th Oct.1969 / Coorg (Madikeri))

Hearth - Poem by Kavitha Rai

Haven’t I seen
The houses I live in
Hall, Kitchen, bathroom,
A few rooms to sleep in
Two doors to let in air and light
A window in each direction

Hearth, the centre of the kitchen
Grandmother and mother
And my turn now
How many posters are sitting
How much of blowing
Seeking in of smoke
Let alone the porch, garden, hall
Whispers from the bedroom
False, hot, dry, broken words all
Find their solace
In the sigh at the hearth

What hasn’t boiled here
Fresh green vegetables
Haven’t they turned brown
Black and cooked
Flour turned to tasty cake
Even meat baked, rarely though!

Who denies
Grand mother, her mother
My mother or even
Could I or the hearth, tell?
The tales it had heard
What could it tell
All has burned become ash
Turned gray, discolored
Sometimes gained color too
Lately despite
Father-in-laws disapproved
He laid the pavement
Bought gas

No more smoke, no more heat
No more bubbling and seething seen
No more burning hands
Thanks to tongs
With the hearth changed all
From bathrooms to hall
What if there are
Two doors new air and light
Everything in the home stands arranged
On the change
Father-in-law has no word

Today he says
I am with you
Am not behind you in the kitchen
Every needed is at hand
I have joined you in work
Happier you are
Than my grand mother
Your grand mother and the mothers

In there the cooker is
Whistling out of the pressure
What if the hearth has
Changed, has the fire?
We both know to cook
To burning heat the lid
Might explode
A cooker it is
Can’t wait for to cool on its own
Steam has to find its
Way out.

Comments about Hearth by Kavitha Rai

  • (5/4/2009 11:40:00 AM)

    Very graphic passages in your life spent in the heart(h) of the family's room..the kitchen room and utensils..poetry of life in action...sweet and spicy no doubt.
    Thanks for sharing this story.

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  • (4/21/2008 8:59:00 AM)

    nice poem, kavitha... it has feminist overtones... it depicts women's plight... i like the comparison- before and after- how u take us thru generations and one thing tht remains constant is the relation betn the woman n the hearth...

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  • (4/17/2008 7:07:00 AM)

    a poem
    which describes
    the outward phenomena
    and a parallel thinking
    pattern goes with the poet,
    her home and hearth,

    the last three lines
    are highly symbolical
    and in fact sums up
    the inherent emotion of the poet,
    (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 17, 2008

Poem Edited: Thursday, April 17, 2008

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